Hello from Lexington, Kentucky! I am so excited to announce the opening of my newly re-named business, Ravel Studio Pilates. Truth is, I opened a portion of this studio 10 years ago. I have been seeing clients privately in my home combining the Pilates Method and Physical Therapy under the name of Mindful Movement since 1998.
When I went back to graduate school in 2000, I had two main goals; to acquire much needed knowledge and expertise, but to also figure out how to integrate Physical Therapy with my already existing background and teaching experience in the Pilates Method. This past fall, after almost 15 years of acute care physical therapy, I decided to work full-time from my home studio. I have expanded my space and acquired two new pieces of Pilates equipment; a new Wunda Chair, and a Ladder Barrel.
Re-naming my business seemed appropriate — something to describe how my work has evolved over the last 10 years. My work is mindful, but I needed something else to describe how I have incorporated my experience as a physical therapist into my work; something that describes the process between me and the client on their path to wellness.
Ravel (not the composer!) is a great word; did you know ravel and unravel mean the same thing? Try unraveling a pile of yarn or thread for example; as you get further into unraveling them, it is almost inevitable that the threads themselves will become entangled or “raveled” again on their own.
To me this can help explain the complexity of the body. Look at an image of our nervous system and you will see how the actual nerve tissue branches, then branches again; only to meet up and connect with another nerve further along its path. These patterns are called “dendritic” and are found all over the natural world.
I also like the image of the flower Queen Anne’s Lace, a beautiful flower that from a distance has an “airy” delicate impression. Look closer and you see that this single flower is actually a composite of many smaller and unique flowers; each one a single gesture of the one before it. Also, despite it’s light and delicate appearance, it has a particularly strong and dense structure to hold it upright.
There is a deep connection in our bodies, and it would just be too simple to imagine that a shoulder, wrist, knee, or hip could be solitarily involved with a movement pattern. All movement has an affect throughout the body; when there is injury or illness, slowly the body adapts and over time we have developed compensatory ways to move despite the initial problem. You could view this as resilience and adaptability but when these habits become painful or start limiting our quality of life, our perspective changes. In addition, these “bad habits” can linger long after the original injury is no longer present; the body simply adapts this pattern of movement as a blueprint of sorts; now a person can feel “stuck” or unable to enjoy activities of the past.
Our physical bodies can appear “simple” to us as long as it is doing what we wish or desire. But for most of us, there is a moment, when even the most mundane activity can produce pain, require an inordinate amount of energy, or just seem “impossible.”
Aging, illness, and injury are the common culprits, but our “habits of movement” can and almost inevitably contribute to these (new) difficulties as well. With closer inspection and focus on some of these habits, my goal is to help you move more efficiently again. The Pilates Method focuses on the breath, deep core stability and general strengthening. It is a process though, and if not done properly will instead be a quick fix for symptomatic pain or stiffness and will not last.
So that’s what I do; I take the time to look a little closer, slow down, teach you to breathe with intention, and then learn how to move after we have strengthened the deeper core musculature. Or to state it more simply; I hope to help clients learn new habits of movement; healthier ways to move.
“The work is……. not to demystify the body, but to help embody the mystery.”
-Andrea Olsen (dance artist, author, and educator)
Thank you, everyone!!
I want to thank Jessica from Blustery Day Design for her genius and patience in helping me build my website. She is a joy to work with and I highly recommend her if you have any graphic design or website needs. Jessica developed my logo, my colors, my layout, etc. She is devoted, kind, and very talented. (BlusteryDayDesign.com)
I would also like to thank my husband, Brad Becker, for his gifted editing and help with photography. Most importantly, I need to thank him for his enduring belief in what I “needed” to do.
Thanks to Mary Bowen for her constant love and guidance — without her I would not be where I am today. Mary has always believed in one’s ability to grow to their potential and Pilates has literally changed the course of my life. (Pilates-MaryBowen.com)
Thanks to my children, Ben and Lucy too! They have offered so much love and support along the way; always there to cheer me on when I wasn’t entirely convinced I could do this. They allowed me to teach clients at home after work while dinner and conversation waited. They have learned that following your heart is the best path.
Thank you Emily Becker (my lovely daughter-in- law) for her gorgeous painting (displayed on the Blog page); she was able to take one of my favorite quotes about the body and turn it into a work of art. Amazing! (#emsketch)
Thank you to Jodey Johnson Lowber, for her great photos! She is the owner and one of the teachers of Downtown Pilates in Louisville, KY. I spent a day guest teaching last year and enjoyed myself immensely. Her studio is beautiful and filled with talented teachers and a warm spirit. (DowntownPilatesLouisvilleKY.com)
Thank you sweet Rayna (my 5 year old beagle/hound mix) for waiting patiently as each client arrives and leaves, and Llink (my 15 year old Tuxedo cat) for greeting my clients outside (weather permitting of course). Maybe he is just checking to make sure you haven’t brought him any treats!
Last but certainly not least, I need to thank all the clients I have had the honor of working with over the years. This has been a long and sometimes arduous journey; without your support and faith in the “process”, it would not have been possible. When I asked for a few testimonials for the website, the response was overwhelming. Jessica and I decided to include them all on my site. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.